The Taliban announced new members of Afghanistan’s interim government Tuesday. The announcement focused on filling deputy minister roles, and a few ethnic minorities were included in the cabinet.
The cabinet picks include some Tajiks, Uzbeks, and one Hazara, who will serve as deputy minister of health. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the inclusion of minorities was to ensure inclusivity, although western media focused on the fact that there are no women in the Taliban-led government.
Mujahid also said the inauguration of the new government had been canceled so the Taliban could better focus on providing service to people. In the wake of the US withdrawal, Afghanistan is facing an economic crisis due in part to the US freezing billions in Afghan reserves. “We are using all diplomatic channels to unfreeze the Afghan assets,” Mujahid said.
The Taliban is still seeking international recognition. “It is the responsibility of the United Nations to recognize our government [and] for other countries, including European, Asian and Islamic countries, to have diplomatic relations with us,” Mujahid said.
According to a letter seen by Reuters, the Taliban have asked to address world leaders at the UN in New York this week and have nominated spokesman Suhail Shaheen to serve as Afghanistan’s UN envoy.